At A Glance
Its origins date back to 1882 when the bank first opened as Harris Bank. Since then, BMO Harris Bank has grown to be one of the largest banks in the Midwest. BMO Harris Bank serves personal and commercial customers across the US and Canada, home to its parent company Bank of Montreal. There are over 600 physical branches and over 1,300 ATMs in the US alone. BMO Harris Banks can be found in eight states and includes banking, financing, and investing solutions offering a variety of personal deposit products that include checking, savings, money market, CDs, and IRAs. Their products allow their customers to manage day-to-day finances as well as plan for the future as the bank also offers range of personal loans and mortgages, as well as credit and investing options.
Mission Statement: “Boldly Grow the Good”
BMO’s primary mission goes beyond profit, instead they set out to inspire and energize the communities they serve by creating the opportunity for positive change.
Types of Accounts
Like other banks, BMO Harris offers a wide variety of accounts for its customers to choose from. From basic accounts to premium accounts and more.
BMO has 3 types of checking accounts each with different features and benefits:
- Smart Money Account: this is account is best for students or young adults under the age of 25 as these are requirements to waive the $5 monthly fee. This account does not earn you interest and does not allow for overdraft. Which in turn isn’t a bad thing for younger clients looking to keep their balances in the black; spending only what they have.
- Smart Advantage Account: this is the most popular checking option at BMO, there is no monthly fee as long as you opt-in for eStatements, otherwise a $2 fee applies. Like many known checking accounts, it also does not earn you interest but does offer unlimited ATM transactions.
- Premier Account: this interest-bearing checking account comes with a high monthly fee of $30 which can be waived for a price. If you at least $25,000 monthly balance or a combined average of $50,000 in two BMO accounts, the fee is waivable. This account also offers its customers up to a $25 rebate on non-BMO ATM charges.
|Minimum Balance to|
|$0.01 to $4,999.99||0.05|
|$5,000.00 to $9,999.99||0.10|
|$10,000.00 to $24,999.99||0.15|
|$25,000.00 to $49,999.99||0.20|
|$50,000.00 to $99,999.99+||0.25|
BMO has only one savings account to offer its clients and unfortunately it falls flat.
- Statement Savings Account: requires a $100 opening deposit and earns 0.05% interest rate on balances over $0.01. There is a $5 monthly fee that can be waived by holding an average balance of $500 or having a minimum $25 ‘Auto-Save’ set up. Auto-Save is BMO’s savings feature which automatically transfers funds from your checking accounts.
Certificates of Deposits (CDs)
If you’re looking for guaranteed growth, BMO’s CDs offer competitive rates and flexible term options. Interest is compounded daily for all CDs and a relatively low minimum Is required to open the account.
- Standard CD: offers terms ranging from 3 months to 5 years. The interest earned can be automatically reinvested and your rate is locked in over your chosen term. The minimum opening deposit required for a standard CD is $1,000.
Add-On CD: this type of CD allows you to make additional deposits onto your existing CD as often as you wish. This CD is only offered however, over a 1-year term and requires a minimum opening deposit of $5,000.
- 1-year term APY is 1.85%
Special CD: BMO offers specials on their CDs, in other words, promotional CDs over a period of time where usually you find higher rates and unique terms. The minimum requirement for this type of CD is also $5,000. In order to get this Special CD, you will need to visit a branch location or call to inquire.
Money Market Account
The Money Market account offered at BMO is called the Platinum Money Market, it requires a minimum opening amount of $5,000 but yields a premium interest rate of 2.35% APY, offers the possibility of checks and no maintenance fees.
With your Money Market account, you get:
- 19X the national avg.APY rate
- Have access to an ATM card
- Bank Online at your convenience
- Unlimited checks
BMO Bank offers a number of credit cards under the Mastercard branch offering various categories of features: cash back, travel & perks rewards as well as no annual fee. Below are a few of the most popular ones:
Platinum Rewards: offers great perks with NO annual fee
- Earn 25,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn 2 points per dollar spent on gas and groceries up to $2,500 per quarter
- Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Collect a 10% anniversary bonus every year
Premium Rewards: ultimate travel card
- Earn 35,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months
- Earn 3 points per dollar spent on dining, hotel and airfare, up to $2,500 per quarter
- Earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
- Collect 15% anniversary bonus every year
- No foreign transaction fees
- Annual fee of $79 – first year waived
Cash Back: high cash back option with NO annual fee
- Receive $200 cash back bonus when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn 2% cash back per dollar spent on gas and groceries up to $2,500 per quarter
- 0% APR on balance transfers within the first 90 days of opening for 12 months
In addition to the savings account, CDs and MMA, BMO Harris offers IRAs. You can open up an IRA CD which is the more conservative route to preparing for retirement. It requires a small minimum of $1,000 and the terms range from 3 months to 5 years with tiered interest rates to benefit the more you save.
BMO also offers the IRA Premium Savers account, that allows its clients to deposit as they go or deposit using ‘Auto-Save’. Similar to the Premium savings account it requires $100 opening deposit. This type of IRA can be opened as a traditional ROTH or SEP IRA.
Personal loans and Mortgages are also familiar products available at BMO Harris and include, auto loans, home equity and personal line of credit. If you’re looking to get one of these products, it’s best to call to speak to BMO financial advisor or visit a branch for more details.
- Switch-Kit is a banking feature offered by BMO that allows customers to move over their banking accounts from other banks to BMO with ease. The kit gives access to a Direct Deposit Transfer form, Automatic Payment Change form, and Account Closing form. There are step-by-step instructions for you to get your accounts switched over and everything into one place.
- Digital Functionality allows you to view all your banking products from any bank under one online hub. BMO’s mobile app offers you the means to link external accounts in order to view balances, transactions and facilitate transfers.
The mobile app also offers customers debit card control. This feature allows you to not only turn your card on and off in case of loss, but you can set spending parameters. For example, you could restrict a card payment by merchant type or you can restrict daily spends and cash withdrawals.
- 24/7 Customer Service is available for any questions or concerns. You can even call to open accounts over the phone or make day-to-day transactions.
About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank headquartered in Chicago in 1882 originally as N.W. Harris & Co., eventually the bank became Harris Bank. After several mergers and acquisitions, BMO Harris’ parent company became the Bank of Montreal, and BMO Financial Corp. is its U.S. holding company, thus becoming BMO Harris Bank. With over 150 years in the banking industry, BMO Harris Bank is now a household name in the Midwest and in the United States of America. The bank has over 600 branch locations in 8 states, 14,500 employees and boasts a large ATM network giving clients free access to their cash at tens of thousands of ATMs across the country. As a subsidiary of the Bank of Montreal in Canada, BMO Harris Bank offers its customers cross-border banking conveniences when travelling north.
BMO has been recognized by Forbes’ Magazine as an industry leader in fostering diversity and inclusion throughout its organization, for being one of America’s Best Employers for Women in 2019. At BMO Harris Bank a broad variety of personal banking products and solutions are available to their customers including, but not limited to checking accounts, savings accounts, CDs and loans.
BMO Harris Bank is available in the following states: Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for the convenience of a big bank with multiple checking options and a place to grow your savings over a long period of time, then BMO Harris Bank is probably one of the better options for you.
On the other side, if you were are outside of the 8 states with branch locations and prefer face-to-face banking interactions, this bank will not be able to meet that requirement.